Album Review
The Maple State - Say, Scientist Album Cover

The Maple State - Say, Scientist

Reviewed by
The Maple StateSay Scientist
Release Date: February 25, 2008
Record Label: High Voltage

Imagine a band that combines the off-kilter sensibilities of Morrissey and Weezer with the organized chaos of Taking Back Sunday, and you have Manchester, England's The Maple State in a (diverse) nutshell. I first heard about TMS over a year ago while browsing our general forum's Eurokids thread late one night, and was hooked. The band released Say Scientist, their six-song mini-album, in January, but it has yet to win the acclaim it deserves.

From the very beginning, you'll notice how bold Say Scientist is. At times, it might qualify as "too bold," when the vocals take over the song despite plenty of entertainment behind Gregory Counsell, the band's lead singer. On the mini-album's opener, "We Swear by the Light Life," Counsell belts it out at the upper end of his register, Adam Lazzara-style, as The Maple State quickly captures listeners' attention with an impressive and hard-hitting indie-rock number. Airy keyboards and handclap drumming highlight the title track, which offers a keen balance between vocals and instrumentals that seemed neglected on the album's opener. "Don't Take Holidays" seems to channel Morrissey a bit stylistically, with some shouted gang vocals to mix it up some; the execution of the song leaves a lot to be desired, however.

"Temperate Lives" is about a step too slow, but the refrain is quite catchy; it just needs a little more punch behind the song to make it more memorable in the overall scheme of the album. "Starts with Dean Moriarty (Bad Sign)" is highlighted by a heavy racket going on behind Counsell's vocals; in fact, at times they're so far down in the mix that it becomes hard to understand him over the rhythm section's rather entertaining civil war. "You and Me and an X-Ray Machine" strives to be a strong album closer, and it does just that—combining the best elements of Say Scientist into one song. The mix is just right, the melody is entertaining, and it wraps up the album admirably, even with a slower number.

Be forewarned—The Maple State might be your new obsession. They're hip enough for the indie kids, pop enough for the rock kids, and flashy enough to flag down those music nomads searching for good new music. While there's a few minor gripes about this mini-album, mostly with how it was mixed, Say, Scientist allows fans the world over to meet The Maple State, another UK indie-rock band that has the talent to turn heads left and right. Don't be left in the dark; if you're fans of any of the bands listed in the review's introduction, get your hands on The Maple State's Say, Scientist before they hop across the Atlantic and blow up like the Arctic Monkeys did a few years back.
Track List01. We Swear by the Light Life
02. Say, Scientist
03. Don't Take Holidays
04. Temperate Lives
05. Starts with Dean Moriarty (Bad Sign)
06. You and Me and an X-Ray Machine
Listen to The Maple StateAP.net Profile | Myspace | Buy on iTunes
This review is a user submitted review from Tony Pascarella. You can see all of Tony Pascarella's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 20
01:02 AM on 04/18/08
James D
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I really like this CD. I probably still prefer their first EP, but the line "...not so fucking chipper" on this new EP is sung so great and there's just a few moments of brilliance. I'd agree about the mix, the bass seems a bit too high for me.
06:14 AM on 04/18/08
Tony Pascarella
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Forgot to mention this when I posted the review last night. If you'd like to get an AP.net notification next time I write a review, click my username in this post and then "Friend" and add me to your friends list. Then, next time I write one, you will have a notification in your UserCP.
06:51 AM on 04/18/08
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i love the maple state.
their earlier ep is great...
07:11 AM on 04/18/08
Sergio Georgini
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How the fuck has Mark not commented on this.
07:15 AM on 04/18/08
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daaana's Avatar
hmmm ill be checking them out
07:31 AM on 04/18/08
Tony Pascarella
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How the fuck has Mark not commented on this.
I was wondering this myself.
08:39 AM on 04/18/08
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grimis16's Avatar
i really like this cd too. Only thing that i can complain about is what someone mentioned above, bass is too high
08:42 AM on 04/18/08
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JohnArcher's Avatar
Seriously love this EP. I can't stop listning to it, and a good few others from TMS. Awesome band :)
09:16 AM on 04/18/08
Every Routine Party
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TomBeck182's Avatar
much love for the maple state - I think the bass level is perfect, adds a little something.
10:41 AM on 04/18/08
lazy bones.
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wyverna's Avatar
How the fuck has Mark not commented on this.

seriously, that's what i was thinking
11:25 AM on 04/18/08
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Johnnydcp's Avatar
I love this cd
11:30 AM on 04/18/08
starting fires
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AlexanderG's Avatar
Where is that scamp Mark! I fucking love this band too, fave band.
11:39 AM on 04/18/08
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sjb2k1's Avatar
Good call on this. What an excellent surprise for my Friday.

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